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First cruise
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#1 Tam_1982

Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:20 PM

Hi guys    
I've just got a couple of questions as we are considering out first cruise with our 2 children aged 6 & 7.
1) whats the best cruise ship for this age and how long should it be?2) how far out can you book a cruise? 3) And which is it better to go thru the cruise company or a travel agent?
I'm sure I'll think of more question as I get my previous questions answered.
Thanks original.gif

#2 Jo_P

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

Hi Tam_1982, whereabouts are you looking at cruising from/to? It makes a lot of difference which cruise line you're looking at and where from etc.
We've done a Disney cruise in the USA and absolutely loved it and have booked again for next year.
As for cruises from Australia, from all that I've read and heard from friends, just don't choose P&O!

#3 LittleMissPink

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

We are going on P and O in a month, me and my 2 kids and my mum. We are going with a group of friends. I know people who have done our exact cruise and apart from the washing machine playing up, they have no complaints.

We booked through a travel agent 18 months ago, and have been paying it off monthly since then.

Our cruise is 7 nights, to the Pacific Islands.

P and O have kids club on board, which I KNOW the kids will love.

#4 eks81

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

We went on a P & O cruise in the South Pacific last September with our then 18 month old and had an absolute ball! No complaints whatsoever, about any aspect of the trip. If you bear in mind that P & O are geared towards affordable, family holidays and not to go expecting absolute luxury, you will have a great time.

All up we had 12 nights away, stopping at Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) and 4 other ports in Vanuatu. Our son couldn't have been treated better by the crew, many of whom have left their own families overseas to try and earn a decent living. Within 1 nights of being on board, they knew his name, he was given mocktails all the time (we don't give him juice at all so I made sure I watered them down lol!), they would always come up and play with him or give him a cuddle.

Our son was too young for the kids club (which starts at 3 on P & O), but we managed to get a bit of time to ourselves as my dad and stepmum travelled with us so would watch him while he slept or would take him to dinner so we could go to the Salt grill on board (amazing!). If I had the money, we would do another P & O cruise tomorrow.

We booked directly through P & O and it was far cheaper than booking anywhere else as we are both past travellers so got a discount. There are many cruise websites now that you can book through - definitely don't book through a travel agent, unless they have really good on board credit deals which make it worthwhile (most of the websites will be able to get you the same deal though).

#5 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

In direct answer to your questions:

1) whats the best cruise ship for this age and how long should it be?

Pretty much all cruise lines have facilities for all age groups. It's generally accepted on board that there will be kids no matter what type of cruise it is so there is likely to be kids clubs and regular children's activities. Because of this, you can pretty much take your pick of which cruise line you look at.

How long you cruise for comes down to personal preference. Do you think your family are suited to cruising? Being it's your first cruise, perhaps something that's 3 or 4 days or a 7 days cruise with plenty of shore stops would be best. I'd minimise the number of sea days for a first cruise.

2) how far out can you book a cruise?

I have cruises booked through to 2015. The cruise wholesaler I use has dates available for cruises all over the world through to the start of 2016 for some cruise companies. All you pay is the deposit until 90 days before sailing and this locks in your price. I think booking earlier is far better than leaving it to the last minute.

3) And which is it better to go thru the cruise company or a travel agent?

I dislike travel agents, they will make you pay up front most of the time and then leave your money in their accounts until such as time as it's time to pay the cruise company - which is at the 90 day before sailing point. You are better to use a wholesaler like I do and only pay a deposit to secure your cruise until the balance is due or book directly with the cruise company if the wholesaler can't beat the direct price. Either way, the money stays in your bank until it's due to be paid in full which is much better for you.

Really you need to ask yourself where you want to leave from - Australia or overseas, what you want to see - are there any places that cruises go that are on your "must do" list and what is your budget/time frame like? As PP's have said, P&O is targeted at more casual, family cruising without the flash and dazzle but I wouldn't say they are cheap for what you get at all. I am continuously amazed at how much they charge for their cruises and am hoping that with the arrival of some competition to the Aussie market in the form of Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruises and the like, they will drop their prices somewhat.

For me, cruising is an amazing way to holiday. I adore it and have been obsessed since my first cruise. We started with 7 days around the Hawaiian Islands with the sailing done at night and each day in port so there weren't any sea days. We took to cruising right away and have since done 3 more cruises around Hawaii that were 7 days each, a 4 day cruise around the Bahamas, we're about to do a 3 day cruise from Brisbane to Sydney and, although it looks like our cruises are getting shorter in duration, we are taking a huge leap and doing a 19 day cruise across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Sydney in October and we can't wait. We took baby steps into doing a longer cruise and now we're looking at doing a 103 day around the world cruise in a couple of years if the 19 day one goes well - which I now have no doubt it will.

I hope you find something that suits what you are looking for and have a great trip original.gif

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